Remember when we were Happy to Share our tables?

Once upon a time, in cafes and restaurants across the country, we were encouraging people to place a ‘Happy to Share’ card on their table in a bid to combat loneliness and isolation.

This original idea was brought to us by Caron Sprake. Her successful bid for a Recovery Devon Community Development Fund led to a first printing of the cards. This was so well received that the cards were reviewed and printed again, attracting national attention including a Points of Light award.

Social distancing and repeated lockdowns meant we had to put this wonderfully simple idea on hold, but not before many establishments had made the cards available to their customers.

Working with a committed team of researchers at the University of Exeter, Recovery Devon are delighted to share this report outlining the results of a study into establishments’ experiences of the cards.

Understandably, we were asking for questionnaires to be completed at a very challenging time for the hospitality sector but the responses received showed overwhelming support for the Happy to Share cards.

The team of researchers and everyone at Recovery Devon would like to publicly thank all who took part. As we emerge from a long, dark tunnel, we remain convinced that tackling the damaging effects of loneliness and isolation will be as important as ever.

If you want to discover just how a single, brilliant concept can be used as a tool for bringing people together, whilst benefitting businesses and adding social value, then please take a moment to look through this report.